Our Team

Owner & Lead Attorney

Melanie A. Sedlak

Melanie’s practice focuses on criminal defense litigation, juvenile defense, and family law matters. In her twenty years as a practicing attorney, Melanie has litigated thousands of cases in courts across Colorado – including sexual offenses, first degree murder offenses, organized drug and gang crimes, sexual offenses against children, violent crimes, domestic violence crimes, economic crimes, and complex family law matters.

Melanie began her career as a Colorado Deputy State Public Defender. She later spent some time as an Assistant Attorney General and then entered private practice in metro Denver in 2005 where she continued her practice in criminal defense. In 2005, Melanie used her strong trial experience to also develop a family law practice. In 2008, Melanie returned to Northern Colorado and in 2010 Melanie merged her law practice as a member with the Greeley firm of Houtchens, Greenfield, Sedlak & Zachies, LLC. In 2021, Melanie developed and merged her law practice into Sedlak, P.C.

Melanie’s primary experience is in representing individuals facing prosecution by the government and assisting individuals with collateral family law matters. Her roster of clients is wide-ranging and includes individuals accused of misdemeanor and felonies or those facing difficult family situations. Melanie has taken hundreds of cases to jury trial and has litigated hundreds of family law disputes, to include administrative appeals and Trails challenges. Melanie’s criminal and civil experience is in Colorado State Court and she accepts cases in Weld, Larimer, Adams, Morgan, Logan, and Yuma counties.

Melanie firmly believes that all people must be zealously and passionately represented in court and she uses her strong courtroom presence to successfully litigate criminal and family law cases throughout many jurisdictions in Colorado.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: All felonies and misdemeanors. Specializing in sexual offenses, domestic violence offenses, white collar property crimes, juvenile offenses, and violent crimes.

Domestic Relations: Specializing in all aspects of family law and dependency and neglect cases.

Administrative Appeals: Specializing in trails registration appeals and appeals arising from allegations by the Department of Human Services.

Education

St. Mary's University, School of Law
San Antonio, Texas, J.D. 2000

Westomont College
Santa Barabara, California, B.A., 1993

Bar Admissions

State of Colorado, 2000

U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2005

Memberships

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar — Former Board Member

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar — Weld County Chapter Head

Colorado Bar Association — Member

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers — Member

Martindale Hubbell — 20 Years of Attorney Service

Paralegal

Jamie Sedlak

Jamie is a Colorado native, born in Westminster and raised in Northern Colorado. In 2010, Jamie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Colorado State University. Jamie began her paralegal career in 2011 and has supported attorneys in several different types of law including general civil litigation, insurance defense, probate, bankruptcy, domestic relations and criminal law. Jamie has served as the secretary for the local chapter of the Colorado Association of Legal Support Staff (CALSS). Jamie is also a licensed Notary Public for the State of Colorado.

As Melanie’s paralegal, clients will likely speak with Jamie when contacting the firm. Jamie is friendly and helpful and uses her superb multitasking skills to get detailed information from clients to effectively support Melanie and the clients throughout the legal process.

Investigator Consultant

Deanna Strappelli

Deanna is a Colorado native. In 2011, Deanna obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Metro State University. During college, Deanna was an Investigator Intern with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office in Adams County. After her internship with the public defender’s office, Deanna began her career as a defense investigator.

In July 2012, Deanna started investigation work on a high-profile death penalty case in Colorado. While on the death penalty assignment, Deanna worked with post-conviction attorneys to locate witnesses and conduct comprehensive background searches both locally and nationwide. This high-profile death penalty experience has made Deanna one of the most sought-after private investigators in the State of Colorado.

Deanna’s private investigator business was formed in June, 2015. Deanna has received specialized training in the field of Defense Investigation and has received training with the John Reid Institute for “Interviewing and Interrogation.” Deanna holds a Level II Private Investigator License in the State of Colorado.

With her significant criminal defense experience, Deanna provides effective assistance to attorneys by performing diligent, concise, and comprehensive case investigations.

Legal Researcher / Attorney Apellate Consultant

Christopher H. Gehring

Christopher’s practice focuses on research & writing. He specializes in writing motions and handling appeals. In his twenty-five years as an attorney, he has handled dozens of appeals in the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals. He has also litigated myriad cases in trial courts across Colorado—including complex criminal, civil, juvenile, and family law matters.

Christopher clerked for the Honorable Terry N. Trieweiler (Montana Supreme Court). He then practiced law for four+ years: first at Holland & Hart (Denver), and then at the Colorado State Public Defender (Appellate Division). From 2002-2009, he was a professor at the Sturm College of Law (University of Denver). Since 2010, he has practiced law as a solo practitioner (Gehring Law Firm, Ltd.).

Christopher’s primary experience involves representing individuals facing prosecution by the government. Most notably, from 2010-2019, he litigated a complex death penalty case—until the Governor commuted the sentence. He regularly and frequently handles a variety of research & writing projects for Melanie Sedlak, thereby enhancing her practice and benefitting her clients.

Christopher firmly believes that all people must be zealously represented; and he uses his excellent research & writing skills to successfully litigate criminal and civil cases.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: Felonies & Misdemeanors

Domestic Relations: All aspects of family law; Dependency & neglect cases.

Civil Litigation: Torts; Contracts

Education

Cornell University, Cornell School of Law
Ithaca, New York, J.D. 1996 (summa cum laude)

Bar Admissions

State of Colorado, 1996

U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1996

Memberships

Colorado Bar Association — Member, Appellate Practice Sub-Committee

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar

Investigator Consultant

Laura Tellers

Laura is originally from rural Minnesota but then made Colorado her permanent home in 1999.

Laura obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology with a Criminal Justice concentration from Colorado State University in 2004. Laura was an Investigator Intern with a criminal defense attorney and that was where her passion for criminal defense began.

After doing paralegal work for several years, Laura eventually became a private investigator. Laura has a unique ability to understand and empathize with many walks of life and earn people’s trust. Laura is engaging, organized, diligent, and meticulous in her investigations. Laura takes pride in her work which is evident through her well written and detailed investigation reports.

Laura formed her investigation business in May, 2010 and Laura holds a Level II Private Investigator License in the State of Colorado. Laura has received ongoing training and education in the field of Defense Investigation and has a contract with Alternate Defense Counsel and Respondent Parent Counsel.

Laura is one of the most effective and professional private investigators in Northern Colorado. The many facets of her skillset have proven her to be in invaluable as an investigator consultant.